Friday, January 30, 2009

Fond Memories

While scanning photos to add to my Ancestry website today, I came across this picture of my Grandma Roberts in her kitchen. I have fond memories of this kitchen. The one that sticks out most are the times that my Grandpa Roberts and I would sit at the kitchen table with a jar of peanut butter and spoons and eat the peanut butter right out of the jar.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Welcome to My Blog!

My cousin, Becky, has been been suggesting that I create a blog so here it is.

So for my first post, let me tell you how I got bit by the "Genealogy Bug". When I was in high school (a long time ago) I took a biology class (can't remember if it was my junior or senior year). The teacher gave us an assignment to find out why it was that we had the physical characteristics that we had. So, I went home and enlisted the assistance of my mother. We started by making note of the eye and hair color of my grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., along with whether or not they were right or left handed. Then we started writing letters to other relatives to find out information about them.

After I turned in my biology assignment (don't remember what grade I got) I lost interest in the whole thing. But, my mother was "hooked". For the next 20 some years she did research on some of our family lines. At one point, she even became "The Strait Family Historian."

She used to drag me and my dad around to cemeteries and I hated it. I think dad just tolerated it. She had binders and papers all over the house, stuffed in binders on bookshelves and in file drawers. She had notes written on little bits of paper and backs of envelopes. Don't know how she kept track of anything.

Then, shortly before my father passed away in 1992, both my mom and dad ended up in a nursing home. Even this didn't stop my mother from doing some research, although all her information was still at the house. After my father passed away, we had to put the house and its contents up for sale because mom was not going to be able to return home. My sisters and our husbands gathered at the house for a week to clean up as much as we could and take what we wanted to keep before they auctioned off the house and its contents.

I figured that since I was the one that got mom started on this adventure I should be the one that took over her genealogical research (and there was a ton of it). Unfortunately, there was so much that we couldn't get it all in our small car to take back home to Michigan with us. So, we left most of it with my husband's oldest daughter who lives in Garden City. About a year or so later we went back (we had a bigger car then) and picked up what we had left behind. Once I got it home I started going through it and have been "hooked" ever since. What I fear is that since we had to clean out my parent's house so quickly that some of her research may have gotten thrown in the dumpster.

My husband and I both retired in 2005 and we have made several genealogy related trips and have attended several genealogical conferences. Oh, and by the way, I LOVE going to cemeteries now!!! I even volunteer to take photos for Find A Grave! Who woulda thought.....